Chen Shi couldn't take the time to think. He rammed the door open with his shoulder. The house was in a really chaotic state. On the bed lay a middle-aged man covered with blood, and half a bottle of the beverage was placed on the table beside him.
There was a scream from behind Chen Shi. Looking back, it was the owner of the audio shop from just now.
Chen Shi displayed his consultant card. “Don't be afraid, I'm a policeman.”
“Don’t leave for now.”
“Fuck, you don't have to doubt me. Even if there’s competition between us since we’re neighbors, I wouldn’t do this kind of back-handed...”
“I don’t doubt you. I just want to understand the situation.”
Chen Shi called the bureau and then asked the boss, “Do you know this person?”
“How much do you know about him?”
“The whole street calls him Teacher Xu. I heard that he used to be a schoolteacher. He is very kind and smiles at everyone, and is especially good with children. Our neighbor, Big Sister Li, also asks him to tutor her children in Math. She’s praised him for teaching well as well as being a good person. I often asked him why he didn’t continue to be a schoolteacher and talked about how cool it was to be able to take winter and summer vacations every year. He said that teaching wasn’t profitable and that he wanted to start a business.”
“What about his relationships?”
“Extremely good, he smiles at everyone...”
“I'm not talking about this. I'm talking about people that he knows. Does he have family?”
“I heard that he was a divorcee and that the children were awarded to the mother. He was in his fifties and living alone. He came out to jog every morning. I was wondering why he didn’t open for business today. I didn’t think that this kind of thing had happened… Hey, Officer, who did this?”
“Did you see any suspicious people entering the house today?”
A group of onlookers had gathered behind the boss sometime during their conversation. An aunty said, “I saw a male knocking on his door this morning. Teacher Xu opened the door and exchanged a few words with him before letting him in.”
Chen Shi displayed Wang Sunxu's photo on his mobile phone and asked, “Was it him?”
“I didn’t see his face but he's about the same height I suppose. He was wearing a totally black outfit and carrying a bag.”
It seemed that it was Wang Sunxu without a doubt. Perhaps Xu Nianqiang himself did not expect that he would welcome in a god of death when he opened the door.
Chen Shi told everyone not to look. He entered the house, closed the door and checked the dead body. The time of death was roughly determined to be ten hours ago. What shocked Chen Shi was that the front of Teacher Xu’s body was totally red and his white shirt had been dyed almost completely pink with blood. He didn’t know how many stab wounds had been inflicted.
Looking at those injuries, one can imagine how angry Wang Sunxu was at the time. Even though he had killed two people who had bullied him in the past, he was a lot more calm in those cases as compared to this one.
Chen Shi picked up the bottle on the table, unscrewed it, and it turned out to have the killer bottle cap again. He sneered, “The trick has already been exposed. But you’re still playing with this?”
Looking around the house, Chen Shi saw a shelf full of books. They were all famous works and classical literature. There were also dumbbells and arm-strengthening machines. Then he looked at the bathroom. It was very clean and even the gaps in the tiles were white.
It can be seen that Boss Xu was a very self-disciplined person with a regular lifestyle and elegant tastes.
In the middle of the bookshelf, he saw two leatherbound notebooks and took them out for a look. The first notebook was full of newspaper clippings; all of which were student essays published in the newspapers. The students all came from Thirty-seven High School without exception. The bottom always noted that they were recommended by the teacher, Xu Nianqiang.
The other notebook surprised Chen Shi even more. It recorded the birthdays, hobbies, family backgrounds, etc. of many students. Judging by the color of the ink, they were recorded many years ago. On the earliest pages, there was Wang Sunxu's name, behind which was later written. “January 14, 1990. The family background is rather unusual. His elder brother, Wang Sunlei is a convict. The child seems have an inferiority complex and deliberately behaves as if he has thorns all over him. His favorite things are unclear for now. He has a strong personality and refuses to accept defeat. The main problem is getting rid of his elder brother’s shadow.”
There were several other students' names on the page. Maybe they were in the same class as Wang Sunxu. Chen Shi took pictures using his mobile phone and planned to visit them later.
Chen Shi looked at the unrecognizable corpse. He was a very good teacher, no matter how you looked at him. Could it be that he had a hidden secret?
At that time, he heard the police siren outside and he opened the door. Lin Dongxue and Peng Sijue came in together. Peng Sijue said, “The two cases happened at the same time and I couldn’t get any of the staff to come over.”
“It's okay. The space here is small. You should be fine by yourself.”
“Help me take pictures.” Peng Sijue handed him the camera.
Lin Dongxue said, “Let me do it. He has no experience.”
When she found out that the victim was actually Xu Nianqiang, Lin Dongxue was extremely shocked and kept reconfirming with Chen Shi, “We didn’t make a mistake, right?”
“That's him alright!”
Peng Sijue examined the body roughly and said, “The time of death should be around seven in the morning. I can identify ninety-three knife wounds on his body. It seems that he had a strong hatred for this victim.”
“It's crazy. Teacher Xu was the one who was most concerned about him.” Lin Dongxue said, covering her mouth.
“Have you noticed that the books on the table were placed face down? And that the desk was placed in a place that’s not visible from the front door. Furthermore, the things were placed too neatly, indicating that this person had a strong sense of insecurity and obsessive-compulsive disorder. I'm afraid he was not as glamorous as he looked.”
“What kind of theory is that?” Peng Sijue said. “Do the victims have to be bad people?”
“We’re talking about the matter as it stands. A man who has a house full of tasteful books with nothing related to sex? I think he’s been sexually repressed for a long time and the suppressed libido will have been released through other channels. I think he must have an unspeakable secret.”
Lin Dongxue shook her head. “I don't think so. Wang Sunxu killed him precisely because Teacher Xu was the only person who ever cared about him. It's like a frozen person who feels hot when exposed to warm water. His twisted heart feels that Teacher Xu caring for him is an insult. In the past, there were cases like this where the suspect killed all those who helped him! Tell me how your strange conclusion came to you. Don't you also not have sex-related things in your house?”
“That's because I hide them well!” Chen Shi smiled.
Lin Dongxue's eyes widened.
“Old Peng, there must be a fleshlight or something in your house as well, right?” Chen Shi wanted to draw upon a living example.
Chen Shi looked at the time. It was five o'clock. Tao Yueyue was almost done with school. He called Tao Yueyue and planned to ask her to wait a while at school for him. However, he actually couldn’t get through to her phone.
Chen Shi panicked. He saw that Lin Dongxue was still helping to take pictures and he didn't want to alarm her for the time being. He said, “I'll go pick up Yueyue first and come over later.”
Lin Dongxue said, “Okay, you can go directly to the bureau!”
When Chen Shi arrived at the school, he saw Tao Yueyue and her classmates coming out, laughing and chatting. He honked a few times and Tao Yueyue came over and said, “Uncle Chen, why are you here?”
“Didn’t I tell you not to go home alone?”
“I’m with my classmates.”
“Why couldn’t I get through to you over the phone?”
“I forgot to charge it last night.”
“Get into the car!” Chen Shi finally breathed a long sigh of relief.
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